Reach out, Take, Pull In (the Holy Spirit)


Being raised as a missionary kid, in a home, in the village of Malkangiri, in Orissa, India, the sight of birds (usually sparrows), flying in and out of the house at their own free will, was a common thing. Now hold on to that thought, please.

Genesis 8:9 reads that when the dove that Noah had sent out from the ark to see if the universal and global flood waters had abated from off the face of the earth, she returned to the ark and Noah reached out (put forth his hand), took her and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

It is interesting to see the level of detail in this verse that can be easily missed by someone who is cursorily reading through the Scripture. Notice, how the Bible says, that Noah first reached out (put forth his hand), he then took the dove, and then he pulled her in, not just into the ark, but unto him. This implies that the dove did not just fly back into the ark, which would seem to be the natural thing for her to have done, since there was no place outside the ark for her to rest the sole of her foot. What could be the significance of such detail that is revealed in the Bible?

It makes me wonder if the Scripture is symbolically revealing to us this hidden treasure of how the Holy Spirit of God (symbolically represented as a dove at the baptism of Jesus) operates. Unlike the birds (sparrows) of Malkangiri, he does not simply barge in, but waits patiently outside our lives (Revelation 3:20) to find rest in our lives. Like Noah, he wants us to reach out to him (put forth our hand to him), to take him, and pull him into our lives, unto ourselves. He will not force himself on anyone!

Points to ponder:
The Holy Spirit of God is waiting to rest in your life. He reaches out to you so that you can reach out to him. He takes you as you are so that you can take him into your life. He pulls us from sin unto Salvation so that we can pull him into our lives to live as sanctified people and not as slaves to sin. Have you reached out, taken and pulled the Holy Spirit of God into your life, unto yourself?

Genesis 8:8-9 (KJV)
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

Tiller of Ground


The latter part of Genesis 4:2 speaks about the professions of the sons of Adam. Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain was a tiller of the ground.

As tiller of the ground, Cain brought of the fruit of the ground (note: not all the fruit of the ground). The ground was cursed as a result of man’s disobedience and the fruit of the ground was the by-product of man’s effort and sweat (Genesis 3:17-19) which God did not accept as an acceptable offering.

Points to ponder:
God is not interested in our efforts and works for they cannot gain his acceptance. It is by grace (of Jesus Chris) and grace alone and not by our works that God accepts us in his beloved (Ephesians 1:6). Are you/Am I a tiller of the ground?

Genesis 4:2-5 (KJV)
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

The pre-requisite for being fruitful


Genesis 4:1-2 reads “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Cain and Abel were God’s reward, the fruit of the womb (Psalm 127:3) who came about because of intimacy shared between Adam and Eve.

It is no surprise that in the physical sense, intimacy is a pre-requisite for being fruitful. In like manner, in the spiritual sense, without being intimate with God, one cannot bear fruit.

Jesus said, unless we abide in him and he in us, we cannot bear fruit (John 15:4). The fruit of God’s spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23), which we cannot bear unless we know God intimately. In fact, to know God is eternal life (John 17:3) and those who do not bear good fruit is [to be] hewn down and cast into the fire (Matthew 7:19).

Points to ponder:
The pre-requisite for bearing the fruit of the Spirit is being intimate with God. Are you/Am I fruitful, as a follower of Jesus, bearing fruit again and again?

Genesis 4:1-2 (KJV)
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

John 15:4-5 (KJV)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

John 17:3 (KJV)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

To till (toil) or not to till (toil)


Genesis 2:5, states that “there was not a man to till the ground” yet all the flora grew. This implies that God’s creation was designed to grow, irrespective of man’s work/action, for every herb of the field, that was given to man to eat (Genesis 3:18) grew, until man disobeyed and brought a curse on the ground and the need to till the ground and toil (sweat) for it to bear fruit/yield (Genesis 3:19).

In order to reverse this mishap, Jesus had to come and toil (work) for our Salvation (as creation itself groaned in sin and in error pinned (Romans 8:22)). He finished the work (John 19:30). The ground yielded thorns and thistles as a result of man’s disobedience (Genesis 3:18). A crown of thorns was placed on Jesus’ head as a result of his obedience (Philippians 2:8) and by being pierced, Jesus annulled the curse on mankind. Now, anyone who abides [is planted/rooted] in Jesus Christ, shall bring forth much fruit (John 15:5), by God’s doing, for he gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7), and without him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Points to ponder:
Without Jesus, we need to till and toil. In Jesus, we need not till and toil.
He said, “Come unto me, all of you, who till (labor) and are heavy laden (toil) and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Do you need to till (toil) or not to till (toil)? In other words, Are you without Christ or are you in Christ Jesus?

Genesis 2:5 (KJV)
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Bringer of Rain (Not Spartacus nor Elijah)


When reading Genesis 2:5, one cannot help but notice the phrase, “for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth“. Later on, during the time of Noah, we will learn that God says, that he will cause rain to fall upon the earth for a period of forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:4).

Spartacus, a Thracian slave turned gladiator, who led an insurrection against Rome in the 1st century is attributed to be the bringer of rain, but it is not Spartacus, who is the bringer of rain. While the meterologist may predict the possibility of rain or its lack thereof, the only One who can open the windows of heaven (Genesis 7:11-12), and bring rain upon the earth, is the LORD God. When prophet Elijah prayed to the LORD, the LORD God caused it to rain abundantly/greatly (1 Kings 18:41-46). It is important to recognize that it was not Elijah who was the bringer of rain, but the LORD God.

Points to ponder:
Our God is a God of the elements. We can seek his showers of blessings and if it comes, praise be to God, but if it doesn’t, praise be to God as well, for he is a Sovereign God and does what he chooses and wills, in and for our life, for he alone is the bringer of abundant rain (blessings).

Genesis 2:5 (KJV)
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Two great lights, Some light gods – One Great Light


The book of Genesis records that God made two great lights, to rule the day and the night and he made the stars also (Genesis 1:16, 18) to give light upon the earth and God saw that it was good. But man takes these celestial objects of God’s creations and deifies them as gods and goddesses. These man made gods and goddess, such as the sun god Ra of Egypt or Surya of the Hindus in India or Aku the moon god of the Babylonians, fall short of giving true light upon the earth. It is only Jesus Christ, The Son of God,who fulfills God’s plan of giving Light to the world (Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:6) and to be the ruler over all times (day and night). He is the One Great Light.

Points to ponder:
Jesus is the One Great Light.  Are you still groping in the dark or has he shined on you? The people that walked in darkness (sinfulness) have seen a great light, when Jesus was born not just in the world he created, but in them, when they believed. He is the One Great Light to rule over all the earth. Is he your ruler?

Genesis 1:16-18 (KJV)
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 9:2 (KJV)
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Through The Bible


American clergyman and author, Phillips Brooks, who served as the Bishop of Massachusetts in the Episcopal Church during the late 1800s is known to have said the following about the Bible. “The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees the worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.” Dr. J. Vernon McGee in his radio ministry “Thru the Bible” exposited chapter by chapter and verse by verse with the mission of proclaiming the whole Word to the whole world. Brooks and Dr. McGee had the right perspective. The Bible is to be looked through.

From the page that begins with “In the beginning” to the final words which ends with “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all”, it is a revelation of God’s great love story. In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1) a.k.a., the Word that became flesh and dwelt among man in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14) and the Word was with God and was God (John 1:1). Note how in the beginning, there is no mention of anyone other than the Godhead – God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ (the Word) and the Spirit of God (Genesis 1:1-2). We were not there in the beginning, but the good news is that all who believe in Jesus Christ will be there in the end. The final word in the Bible is the word “all” as the Bible ends with “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all”, penultimate in position, only to affirm that so be it (Amen). The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ does not exclude anyone and is all inclusive. It is freely available to all; from the penitent sinner to the practicing saint.

When we look at the Bible, we merely see a dead letter of God to man. But when we look through the Bible, we see not only God’s story, but we see THE GRACE story. In other words, we see Jesus Christ revealed in the pages of the Bible.

Point(s) to ponder:
1. When you read the Bible, who do you see?
2. Someone said your life may be the only Bible someone may read. If this is true, if someone see through our lives, will they see Jesus Christ or are we about showcasing ourselves that people don’t see through us but at us and find our lives to be a dead letter?